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Naseem Rakha

COMMENTARY

Gov. Brown’s death row decision marks step toward better system of justice

By: - December 22, 2022

Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement last week that she was commuting the death sentences of the 17 remaining people on Oregon’s death row to life in prison is an important step toward ending a system of justice that creates more victims than it purports to help.  I first encountered the consequences of capital punishment when reporting […]

COMMENTARY

Runoff elections would give Oregon winners with bigger mandates

By: - November 7, 2022

Unless there is a big surprise before the election on Tuesday, it’s probable that none of the candidates in the three-way race for Oregon governor will get a majority of the vote. Instead, Democrat Tina Kotek, Republican Christine Drazan and non-affiliated candidate Betsy Johnson will split the vote in such a way that the “winner” […]

COMMENTARY

Oregon burns again in September, bringing more evidence of climate change

By: - September 13, 2022

It is September, and once again Oregon is burning.   From my perch in a fire tower in the central Oregon Cascades, I can see nothing but smoke. Satellite images confirm that the Northwest is engulfed in dark, ashy clouds. And I wonder: Will we ever again feel that end of summer swoon that comes as […]

COMMENTARY

U.S. sense of security threatened by Republican Party

By: - August 24, 2022

If you find yourself agreeing with people who threaten to kill or harm political opponents, urge you to “arm up” for a coming “civil war” or fail to criticize those who goad others into fanatical frenzies then step away from your television, chat group or bar stool and take a very deep breath. Our sanctimonious […]

COMMENTARY

Jan. 6 committee reveals Trump’s Orwellian attempt to win the election

By: - July 26, 2022

Anyone who’s read George Orwell’s “1984,” the dystopian novel about life under an authoritarian regime, knows that to survive, one had to accept whatever Big Brother said no matter how big the lie. Proof you’d come to fully embrace the all-controlling Party was to believe without question that two plus two never equaled four but […]

COMMENTARY

U.S. Supreme Court out of touch with most Americans

By: - July 13, 2022

I woke up the morning of July 4th feeling cynical about “Independence Day” after the recent slew of  Supreme Court decisions that essentially eviscerated long-standing constitutional rights and protections considered core to our democracy. With Dobbs v. Jackson, the Supreme Court’s newly anointed conservative supermajority stripped women of the constitutional guarantee to decide whether to […]

COMMENTARY

U.S. Supreme Court’s decision by six Catholics breaches wall between church and state

By: - June 30, 2022

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to gut Roe, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt declared, “The womb is now … the safest place for a child to be.”  My question is, where is the safest place for women and the babies they will now be forced to bear? The court’s decision to overturn Roe made […]

COMMENTARY
Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint, view north

As drones proliferate, Oregon parks agency is considering new rules

By: - April 11, 2022

For anyone who enjoys any of Oregon’s state parks or the coast, this is important. You have until 5 p.m. Friday, April 15, to offer your opinion on new rules regulating drones at our state’s most cherished and iconic geographic sites. In 2021, with the guidance and assistance of Kenji Sugahara, CEO and president of […]

COMMENTARY

While rebuilding from wildfires, Oregon also needs to tend more attentively to personal needs

By: - February 28, 2022

Last week, nearly 18 months after losing everything in the Beachie Creek Fire, Ron Carmickle sat in front of a computer testifying before the House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery. Committee Chair Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth, called the meeting to hear from individuals whose lives had been upended the night of September 7, 2020, when […]

COMMENTARY

An alarming account of how a 2-year-old broke a political logjam in Oregon

By: - January 18, 2022

Little known fact: my son, at age 2, played a role in ending an exceedingly long and ugly battle over the state budget during the June 2002 special session of the Oregon Legislature. This was the third special session that year and up to that point was one of the longest in Oregon’s history. The […]